Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Broadband users in the United Kingdom to get automatic compensation for poor service

Broadband users in the United Kingdom to get automatic compensation for poor service

Following a consultation on the matter, the watchdog has announced that BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have agreed to pay their users compensation in the event of delays.

It calculated the change would bolster levels of redress to customers - including many small businesses - by 900% because compensation was now only paid in about one in seven cases.

However, while customers will welcome the introduction of this new scheme.

"The new code extends our customers' ability to hold us to account and get adequate compensation in the unlikely event that our services do not live up to the high standards we always strive to deliver".

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It's worth stressing that for a delayed fix you'll begin to be paid compensation if it's not fixed after two working days (so Monday to Friday), but after this point you'll be owed £8 each calendar day, including weekends and bank holidays.

Problem: a delay to the start of a new service.

Lindsey Fussell, Consumer Group Director at Ofcom, commented: "Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation". Ofcom has set up a 15-month implementation period before it comes into effect. "It's great news for broadband and landline customers".

In addition to residential customers the new plans are also set to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as over a third choose to residential landline and broadband services. Though Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme in the future.

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The regulator on Friday said that automatic compensation will be handed out for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations. If your broadband or landline completely dies and hasn't been revived within two working days, however, you'll get £8 in compensation for every following day your service remains down. MD of Home Services, added: "For all consumers to get what they're entitled to, it's vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme". Once it is all in place, Ofcom will be keeping an eye on things to ensure it is working.

If you've recently suffered a botched broadband installation or endured a long, internetless wait for line repairs, this won't help much as it doesn't kick in until 2019.

KitGuru Says: As more and more people rely on their internet connection for work, education and entertainment, ISPs need to work harder to ensure a consistently reliable service.

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